Farmed Salmon is Full of Antibiotics and Mercury, Here’s How To Tell If Your Salmon Is Safe

Before we start with this article, I would like to ask you a simple question – how often do you eat salmon? Well, you should eat salmon at least once a week, because it’s a supreme source of several rare performance-boosting nutrients. Salmon is also easy to cook. You can even eat it raw if you buy a good salmon. But, you should be careful what you’re buying, because farmed salmon is loaded with antibiotics and disease-causing mercury.

And, you should definitely buy good salmon, because like beef, not all salmon is created equal. A lot of salmon’s flavor, fattiness, and nutrient profile depends on where and how it spent its life. In this article you will learn all about the powerful compounds in this delicious fish, how to choose the best salmon, and how to cook it perfectly with a Bulletproof recipe.

First, you should know that color says a lot about food, including salmon. The color of the sockeye salmon is a robust, satisfying red. That’s what salmon should look like. You will notice that the farmed variety doesn’t even compare. It’s so pale – you can tell that the fish it came from was sickly. You should know that the difference in color is thanks to astaxanthin. Do you know what’s astaxanthin? Astaxanthin is a bright red molecule found in algae, plankton, and krill. This stuff is powerful.


  • Has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,
  • It improves the blood flow,
  • Protects your mitochondria by strengthening their cell membranes keeping out damaging oxygen species,
  • Enhances mitochondrial energy production.

A recent study has discovered that this compounds increases the strength endurance by more than 50% – if you use it as a supplement. You should know that this study was sponsored by an astaxanthin supplement company, so take the results with a grain of salt. And you should also know that the study was also randomized and placebo-controlled, and it had a good number of participants.

The good thing is that the wild salmon gets plenty of astaxanthin from their diets – especially sockeye salmon, which almost exclusively eat astaxanthin-rich plankton. But, the bad thing is that farmed salmon eat food pellets that don’t contain natural astaxanthin, so farmers add in a synthetic version. The real and ugly truth is that most commercial astaxanthin comes from petrochemicals like coal, and it’s not chemically identical to natural astaxanthin.

Note: other components of fish feed include fish meal and fish oils that are at risk for dioxin and mercury contamination. In the last few years, the salmon farmers have tried to decrease heavy metal contamination by replacing fish oil with soy and corn protein and vegetable oil, but salmon aren’t meant to eat soy and corn, so their meat quality plummets, and farmers often have to administer antibiotics to keep them healthy. You should know that small amounts of these antibiotics make it into the salmon meat you eat. The vegetable oils also decrease omega-3 fat content in salmon meat and can introduce mold toxins to salmon. Gross.

This is why you should avoid eating farmed salmon, and always pick wild-caught varieties. And, don’t worry, because we have some good news for you – the FDA and EPA have both been studying mercury contamination in fish, and wild-caught salmon has consistently been at very low risk of mercury contamination. They deem salmon safe to eat multiple times per week.

And, here comes the million-dollar question – which type of salmon is the best for you? Well, it all depends on what nutrients you want. Sockeye, Chinook, and coho salmon are all great salmon varieties if they are wild-caught. They have distinct flavors but are all very healthy. So, it is up to you which salmon species to consume. First, you should know that the sockeye salmon has the most astaxanthin, cholesterol, and vitamin D, because sockeyes have an unusual diet of almost exclusively plankton. Their unique eating habits make them extraordinarily difficult to farm, so sockeye salmon is basically always wild. It also contains high amounts of omega-3s. Sockeye has a strong flavor. It’s great for you, and it’s very tasty smoked. Chinook salmon has nearly twice as many omega-3s as any other salmon species does. This type of salmon enjoys deep, cold water. The extra omega-3s keep them warm – the fat stays liquid in their system and prevents them from freezing. Unlike sockeye salmon, Chinook salmon can be farmed, so always check your source to make sure you’re getting a wild-caught fish. You should also know that pacific coho salmon is another good option. It has the third-highest fat content of salmon, coming in behind Chinook and sockeye. This type of salmon contains high amounts of vitamin D and good amount of omega-3s.

Cooking Salmon

You’ve probably tried it and you know that smoked salmon tastes wonderful, but the bad thing is that smoking meat produces histamine, which can cause inflammation if you’re sensitive to it. Note: so, you should try some smoked salmon and see how it makes you feel. Or, you can try cold-smoked salmon (if you can find it). The lower temperature better preserves the omega-3s.

Remarkable Parchment-Baked Salmon

Serves 2

You should definitely try this recipe. It’s delicious and it contains high amounts of omega 3s. This recipe is very simple and easy to make. You just have to follow the simple instructions. Here’s what you need to do:

You will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 center-cut wild salmon fillets (8 ounces each)
  • 1 teaspoon Bulletproof Brain Octane oil (or MCT or coconut oil)
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (such as chives, parsley, or dill)


Here’s what you need to do – first, you need to preheat the oven to 320°F. Then, you need to place the salmon on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Rub the fillets with Brain Octane oil, season with sea salt, and top with the butter. After that, you need to wrap the parchment around the fish, folding seams and tucking them to ensure steam does not escape. Note: you need to bake until the fish is medium-rare. It will take about 18 minutes. Sprinkle with the herbs and a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy your fish. We really hope you find this article helpful and don’t forget to share it with your friends and family. Thank You.